HAPPY NEW YEAR, you guys! I wanted to kick off the year right with a fun little organizing idea. In the fall, after my daughter started dance and I started teaching Sunday school, I kept finding myself switching the dance stuff, then the church stuff, then the library books, in and out of my diaper bag daily. That drove me crazy! So I decided to use Cricut iron-on to make customized tote bags for each of our weekly activities. That way everything can stay organized and in its place. These totes have gotten us a lot of compliments and they have worked beautifully for us, so I figured it is time I share them with you!
You can find the full tutorial for how to cut and apply the iron-on to canvas bags at the bottom of the post. I’ll also share the design files for the three totes that I made. Because I wanted them to all kind of match, I used line drawings for the pictures and used the same font throughout all three designs.
Dance Tote Bag
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Tap shoes illustration credit: www.vecteezy.com
I love this personalized dance tote bag. It’s the perfect size for holding June’s ballet and tap shoes, plus any other accessories she needs. I also cut her name out of iron-on and applied it to the back of the bag so that her teachers know who the bag belongs to. During the week I actually keep her tights and leos inside it too, so they don’t get lost among real clothes and dress-ups! #momhack
Church Tote Bag
Church line drawing illustration credit: www.vecteezy.com
My church tote bag has by far been the best use of a tote bag ever. I have to keep a bag full of snacks and art supplies and folders and scriptures and it’s just best to keep it separate from my regular bags so that it’s always ready to go on Sundays. No more running back and forth trying to gather the supplies and get out the door on time!
Library Tote Bag
Library books illustration credit: www.vecteezy.com
My personal favorite, the library tote! Once I’m done reading a library book, I like to keep it in this bag instead of putting it on a shelf or night stand where it might get mixed up with the rest of our books. Plus, have you ever tried to carry an almost two-year old, a diaper bag, and a pile of books out of the library while holding another small child’s hand? Things fall. It’s hilarious to watch, I’m sure. This one is 100% necessary in this phase of my life.
Since I’ve made these, I realized I need one more. A mail bag! I keep using my library tote to go get the mail, because my mailbox is one of those communal mailboxes and it takes a walk around the corner. Hopefully I’ can find the time to make that one soon!
How to Make these Customized Tote Bags:
- Download the SVG cut files for the tote bags you want to make by clicking below. These are zip files. Once they are downloaded, double click on each one to unzip the SVG.
- Unzip the SVG files by double clicking on them.
I used my Cricut maker to cut the Iron-on for these tote bags. Any cutting machine that can cut heat transfer vinyl should work.
- You can use one of my tote bag designs and upload them, or create your own in Photoshop or create text and images in Cricut Design Space.
- Open Cricut Design Space. Choose your canvas by clicking ‘Canvas’ on the left. Choose a tote bag.
- Click ‘Upload an image’ on the left. Select your SVG file by browsing your files and select what type of image it is. For this project, and most projects with iron-on, you’ll select ‘Simple Cut’.
- Now you click the whitespace that you’d like cut out. Remember to get the insides of each letter.
- Select ‘Cut Image' and NOT ‘Print then Cut Image’. You don’t want to print off your saying, you want it cut!
- Put this image on your canvas and size it to your liking.
- Place your iron on vinyl shiny side down on your mat and turn the dial to Iron-on or choose iron-on in Cricut Maker settings.
- Click ‘Cut’!
- Make sure to select ‘Mirror image for Iron-On’ before hitting ‘Go’!
- After the cut is done, remove the excess vinyl around the edges. Use your weeding tool to take out the little pieces in the letters.
HOW TO APPLY IRON-ON TO CANVAS
Now you get to iron it on!
- Set your iron to ‘Cotton’ or the hottest setting it will go to. Make sure steam is turned off.
- Start by getting the canvas tote warm. Put the iron on the bag for about 15 seconds.
- Place your vinyl on where you’d like it. Put a press cloth, or plain cotton cloth, on top of the plastic.
- Put the iron on top of the press cloth for about 60 seconds. Flip your bag over, and do the same thing on the opposite side of the bag. Repeat this process twice. Canvas is one of the most stubborn materials to apply iron-on to!
- Now you will pull off the sticky part and separate it from the vinyl. Do this while it’s warm!
Check out our in-depth tutorial for How to Make a Custom T-Shirt with a Cricut too! The method is almost the exact same.